Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Police hand olive branch to Smith

Location: Entrance to 'The world as a stage' exhibition, 3rd floor Tate Modern
Date: Midday, New Year's eve, 2007

Gallery guard (whilst handing me a brochure to the exhibition): Police hand olive branch to Smith
Me: what did you say?
Gallery guard: Police hand olive branch to Smith. This is new, Tino Sehgal, 2003
Me: why did you say that?
Guard: It is Tino Sehgal's work for this exhibition. I choose a headline from a newspaper. I say the headline to the visitor when I hand them their exhibition brochure. If they they something in reply I repeat the headline and add
the words 'This is new, Tino Sehgal, 2003'. If they ask any other questions I can explain the work in any way I like. But mostly people don't say anything, they look at me as if I was mad, or they just walk in.
Me: Why did you chose 'Police hand olive branch to Smith'?
Guard: I was in a rush today so I just picked the first headline I saw. I can pick any headline I like but it has to come from todays paper.
Me: So the headline changes every day then?
Guard: Yes, and if I want to I can change it during the day too. One day I chose the headline 'Bad shoes can cost you your leg' and I had to change it because a lady took offence and asked me whether I thought she was wearing bad shoes. When I used the headline 'free sex parties for tourists' people's ears would always prick up whenever I said the word 'sex', that got a reaction from everyone.
Me: (stepping backwards as I saw a middle-aged lady coming towards the exhibition entrance): thank you for explaining that, have a nice new year.

Guard: (handing an exhibition brochure to the lady): Police hand olive branch to Smith.
Lady: thank you

Two young ladies approach
Guard (handing them each an exhibition brochure): Police hand olive branch to Smith
1st Young lady: sorry, what did you say?
Guard: Police hand olive branch to Smith. This is new, Tino Sehgal.2003
1st young lady: Ahh, right. Thank you


Anonymous said...

Hi James,
Hope you enjoyed Christmas. What was the title of that book that taught you how to draw - I've forgotten, obviously. I'm asking because I want to get it for Steve. Please say hi to Stella and your kids.

James Lappin said...

Hi Rachel, happy new year! the book was by Danny Gregory, and its called 'the creative license' I hope Steve likes it, will you have a go too? Let me know how you get on James